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Zunaid Moti threatens court action after former legal advisor released


Controversial businessman Zunaid Moti.

Controversial businessman Zunaid Moti.

  • Zunaid Moti intends taking legal action after Clinton van Niekerk was released in a case involving theft of information.
  • Moti accuses Van Niekerk of stealing his family’s personal information and sharing it with a third party.
  • He claims that his children’s birth certificates were stolen between September and November last year.

Businessperson Zunaid Moti threatened to take legal action after his former legal advisor, Clinton van Niekerk, was released from custody.

Van Niekerk was arrested regarding an allegation of “theft of confidential information” in Durban last Wednesday, before successfully challenging his arrest warrant in court.

Moti accused Van Niekerk of stealing Moti Group information and personal documents, including his children’s birth certificates.

Moti alleged that Van Niekerk shared this information with a third party and that it could jeopardise their safety.

According to the charge sheet, it is alleged that Van Niekerk stole confidential information from the Moti Group, including 4 013 files, between September and November 2022.

Moti owns the Sandton-based Moti Group, which lists mining, property development, security, logistics and aviation among its business interests.

Moti said: “Clinton had no right to hold, copy or share any of the Moti Group’s information or my personal documents, especially those of my children, when he knew and understood the dangers my family and I are threatened with.”

Last Friday, Van Niekerk appeared in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court. 

Police had arrested him in Durban en route to New Zealand, apparently in fear for his life. 

He was transferred from Durban to Johannesburg, despite an order by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court instructing the station commanders of the Verulam and Sandton SAPS not to remove him from the jurisdictions of the Verulam Magistrate’s Court or KwaZulu-Natal, pending further relief sought in the matter before it. 

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His lawyer, Stephen May, argued in court that his client was a whistleblower and that it was never his intention to evade arrest. But the State argued that Van Niekerk was a flight risk and that he intended to leave the country at the time of his arrest. 

The matter was, however, struck from the roll.

May previously told News24 there was no pending case against Van Niekerk, although the NPA could summons his client or apply for a new warrant to enrol the matter again.

Moti said: “The order to set aside Van Niekerk’s warrant of arrest was made without the application of the audi alteram partem rule, which is a right to all parties in court proceedings, which means ‘let the other side be heard as well’.

“It is the principle that no person should be judged without a fair hearing in which each party is given the opportunity to respond to the evidence against them.”

He said his lawyers would also probe May’s conduct and the circumstances under which the Randburg Magistrate’s Court struck the matter from the roll.

“We are, in addition, lodging a complaint with the Randburg Magistrate’s Court to investigate the events that took place on 27 January 2023 and, in particular, the actions of a certain prosecutor as well as an attorney, Stephen May, in regards to this matter,” he said. 

May declined to comment when contacted by News24.

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